For All Your Health Care Needs, AHN Has You Covered

By Janice Lane Palko

From the most advanced, specialized care to routine care for common ailments, Allegheny Health Network has the North Hills community covered.

“North of Pittsburgh, we have multiple facilities and layers of access to care. Particularly with the new hospital, the availability of health care services will continue to expand such that residents can receive most, if not all, of their care right here,” said Allan Klapper, MD, president of AHN Wexford Hospital, speaking about AHN McCandless Neighborhood Hospital which opened last year, and the upcoming Wexford Hospital.

Construction of the new, full-service hospital is nearing completion, and AHN Wexford is expected to open to patients in September. Also coming to the North Hills community are additional specialized care services which will complement AHN’s many existing health care programs and services in the region.

With a multitude of available health resources in the area, where should you go to receive the care you need? Dr. Klapper and AHN’s Chair of Emergency Medicine Tom Campbell, MD, weigh in.

AHN McCandless Neighborhood Hospital

Situated at the crossroads of McKnight Road and Duncan Avenue, AHN McCandless Neighborhood Hospital is located in the heart of the North Hills. The hospital, which operates 24/7, includes an 11-bed inpatient unit with a full-service emergency department that is equipped for the care of both children and adults by a team of world-class caregivers including all board-certified physicians.

“Whether you or a loved one has a medical emergency, or requires an extended hospital stay, you want care that is close by,” said Dr. Campbell. “AHN McCandless, and all of our neighborhood hospitals, uniquely provide that access.”

One of the biggest benefits of utilizing the emergency department at the neighborhood hospital, he says, is the short wait times. On average, patients are seen by a clinician within 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital.

If enhanced levels of care are required, such as surgery or intensive critical care, patients will have their care coordinated for them and may be transported to nearby hospitals such as Allegheny General Hospital or the new Wexford Hospital once it opens.

Later this month, a range of services will become available at the hospital’s Outpatient Center located on the third and fourth floors of the building, including primary care, dermatology, pulmonology, chronic disease management and outpatient laboratory services. As part of the dermatology services, the hospital will be the only in the North Hills region to offer Mohs surgery which is a specialized surgical technique that offers the highest cure rate of any skin cancer treatment.

“Having resided in the North Hills area for many years, I’m so pleased to be able to provide the community with a convenient, high-quality health care resource in the neighborhood hospital,” said David Sarknas, DO, medical director, AHN McCandless Neighborhood Hospital. “The additional outpatient services broaden our capabilities even further for meeting a wide range of health care needs right here in our community where our patients and their families live, work and play.”  

AHN Wexford Hospital

Providing patients in the communities north of Pittsburgh with access to the most advanced care close to home and without having to travel in to the city, AHN Wexford Hospital will open this September. The hospital will house 100 private, in-patient rooms and will expand to 160 rooms by the end of the year.  In addition, the hospital will have a full-service, 24-room emergency department with behavioral health rooms, pediatric-capable rooms as well as a dedicated heliport for AHN’s LifeFlight.

“When we were designing the hospital, we kept in mind how we could best serve our staff, patients, visitors and the community,” said Dr. Klapper. “For example, we positioned the heliport such that there is little to no fly over of nearby neighborhoods and, instead, the flights will keep to the Route 19 corridor.”

The hospital will also include state-of-the-art operating rooms with minimally-invasive robotic surgery capabilities; a cardiac catheterization lab and hybrid OR for advanced cardiovascular, neurosurgical and radiological procedures; a short-stay observation unit; advanced diagnostic imaging; and an adult intensive care unit.

It will host a range of medical and surgical specialties, as well as leading edge specialty care in cancer, neurology, cardiology, radiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, orthopaedics and more.

Notably, Wexford Hospital will also offer comprehensive women and infant care, including the only labor and delivery unit in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, as well as advanced high-risk pregnancy services and a Level II neonatal intensive care unit. Providing women all of the specialty services they need close to home, additional services will include gynecological oncology, urogynecology, infertility, advanced breast care and midlife care.

“Women in the suburbs north of Pittsburgh will no longer have to travel outside of the community to deliver their babies or obtain the most specialized services,” said Dr. Klapper.

The hospital has additional features to minimize the traditional clinical feel including an abundance of natural lighting, personalized private rooms and several dedicated green spaces for relaxation.

Additional Care in the North Hills

The layers of AHN’s health care doesn’t stop with the two new hospitals. It also includes the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion which has proven to be an invaluable community asset over the past several years as a one-stop health care destination.

In addition to offering primary care as well as multiple medical and surgical specialties, the pavilion houses a comprehensive cancer center, ambulatory surgery center, full-service women’s health center, onsite pharmacy, physical therapy, cardiac testing, imaging and lab testing. Walk-in express care is also provided with extended availability including weekends. The pavilion’s comfortable amenities provide patients and visitors the best experience possible. Wexford Hospital will be connected to the facility.

Located just across from the pavilion along Perry Highway, and led by AHN orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Mark Sangimino, the AHN Pediatric Orthopaedic Institute provides treatment for pediatric orthopaedic injuries and the repair of congenital conditions with the physicians, tests and treatments that your child needs in one location.

“Many of the northern communities of Pittsburgh continue to grow and, with that, we have a large youth population. It is a tremendous advantage for families to have this resource which has some of the best-trained and recognized practitioners in the area, plus the added benefit of the facility being integrated with Wexford Hospital,” said Dr. Klapper.

The AHN Orthopaedic Institute also opened a new location in the North Hills for sports performance training at 1013 Wexford Plaza Drive. Staffed by physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists, athletic trainers and recovery specialists, the AHN Sports Performance team offers physical therapy, strength training and sports medicine services.

AHN alsodelivers comprehensive cancer treatments and expert cancer doctors in the north at the Beaver Cancer Institute and Butler Cancer Institute.

If you are unsure of the best place to go to receive care, Dr. Campbell recommends utilizing the network’s ‘24/7 Nurse Line,’ which is free to everyone, regardless of insurance.

“Unless it’s a life-threatening emergency, if you are not sure what level of care you need or where to go to receive that care, our nurse line is staffed by AHN registered nurses who are available to help you navigate the health system, make appointments and more,” said Dr. Campbell.

The 24/7 Nurse Line can be reached at 412-NURSE-4-U (412-687-7348). Patients may also call 412-DOCTORS to schedule an appointment.

To view a full listing of AHN facilities and services north of Pittsburgh, visit www.ahn.org/locations and select ‘North Hills.’